Explore Outdoors This Fall In Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina in the fall can be a stunning experience. Grab your walking shoes and set out on an adventure in Columbia.

Take advantage of the mild temperatures this fall with a jaunt to South Carolina's capital city. Columbia is a hub for family fun and weekend getaways in the center of the state. Start your vacation explorations in the outdoors meandering the city's parks and paddling its waterways, and you'll find that the adventures are endless.

Columbia, SC
DenisTangneyJr/Getty Images

Balmy South Carolina in the Fall

Columbia's November temps typically hover the 70s before they dip into the winter chill, which means you can still enjoy the outdoors before coat-and-scarf weather sets in. A favorite destination in the Columbia area is Congaree National Park, the state's only national park.

Located south of the city, it is bordered by the Congaree River. The waterway also flows through Columbia and is a great spot for activities like kayaking and canoeing. Visitors to Congaree National Park find bountiful opportunities for hiking, camping, and picnicking—as well as some of the tallest trees on the East Coast.

You can also take in the changing leaves at the Riverbanks Zoo and Botanical Garden, Saluda Shoals Park, Columbia Canal and Riverfront Park, Harbison State Forest, and Sesquicentennial State Park.

Prepare Your Feet for Walkin'

None of these Columbia trails are advanced, but be prepared to be out for a large part of your day to enjoy the great outdoors. Enjoying time outside is considered natural, accessible therapy, and breathing in fresh air brings solace. Here are some quick tips for an enjoyable and easy day hike:

  1. Bring enough water. You're not traversing the Appalachian Trail, but having water with you while you hike is essential.
  2. Travel light. No need to haul around a bunch of stuff that you won't be using. A bottle of water, and an energy bar work well for a short hike near a well populated area.
  3. Power up. We are not here to say, "Look at your cell phone while getting your boots dusty." But if you want to take photos and your best option is your phone, power that gadget up, set the your phone to "airplane" so it is not searching for a signal, and snap away.

Dine Al Fresco During Your Visit

After hiking and paddling your way through Columbia's outdoor spaces, relax with good food at Terra Restaurant, Black Rooster, SmallSugar, Duke's Pad Thai, Motor Supply Company Bistro, Hampton Street Vineyard, 929 Kitchen and Bar, and the weekly Soda City Market on Main Street. Don't forget drinks at Blum Coffee, Bourbon, Steel Hands Brewing in Cayce, and Hazelwood Brewing in Lexington.

Be sure and mine the menus at these stellar eateries for some traditional dishes offered in the Palmetto State. We're talking about hash and rice, lowcountry shrimp and grits, South Carolina slaw, and South Carolina coconut cream pie. Certainly you will find something to please your palate, whether it's a specialty of the house, or a dish born from tradition.

Columbia's Cultural Cityscape

Columbia also offers many opportunities to explore the arts and culture of the area. The Columbia Museum of Art is a popular attraction, and a Reconstruction Trail recently launched to highlight the experiences of Black Americans and the fight for civil rights. Another recent addition to Columbia's cityscape is the Anne Frank Center at the University of South Carolina, which is a partner to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam and offers opportunities for discussion and learning.

Check out experiencecolubmiasc.com to find more information about the city and plan your trip.

What's your favorite fall destination? Have you visited Columbia, South Carolina, recently?

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles